Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Jobs For New MBAs Are Back--But They're Different

From Forbes.com:

It looks like last year's predictions of a meltdown in the job market for new MBA degree holders may have been as panic stricken and inaccurate as many of the other forecasts we heard in 2009. As Pamela Mittman, who heads up career services at NYU Stern business school, reports, "We've been cautiously optimistic throughout the past year, and we're now seeing that optimism justified in a renewed commitment by recruiters in pipelining talent in the wake of the financial crisis. We've seen job postings for immediate hires up 40% on 2009 and vacancies in some sectors such as venture capital, private equity and consumer products up by as much as 70%."

The recovery may not seem quite as strong outside top schools like Stern, but it still appears to be a reality across the business education spectrum. The latest research from the MBA Career Services Council, which surveyed schools across the USA and Europe, found 60% of career departments reporting more job postings this year than last.

However, according to Becky Joffrey of the Tuck School, in New Hampshire, these general figures may be masking a substantial shift in the hiring picture. She says that more and more Fortune 500 companies are now hiring international MBA students, not for classic head office roles in the U.S. or Europe, but to run operations in their own home countries. "With the rapid pace of globalization, corporate America has got the message that global growth requires talent with in-depth knowledge of the languages, customs and geography of other parts of the world," she says. She cites examples from her school such as Manoj Sahoo, recruited by Cargill to run its Indian operations out of Singapore, and two other Tuck students joining Samsung to train in Seoul and then return to their native countries, Israel and India.

Fran├žois de Wazieres, director of international recruitment for the cosmetics giant L'Oreal, says, "We are deeply interested in talent acquisition for our developing markets, because our sales in new markets will very likely exceed those in Western Europe this year, and our CEO is already talking about us reaching as many as 1 billion customers there." L'Oreal looks for graduates of major U.S. and European schools such as Harvard, Wharton, HEC and IMD and gives them their initial exposure to the business in centers such as Paris and New York. "This accelerates their learning path within the company and readies them for operational and entrepreneurial assignments in our new markets."

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